Newsflash: If Love Hurts, It’s Not Really Love

I’ve seen countless vibrant, amazing women give everything they have to someone and get nothing in return. I’ve seen my best friends (who are amazing, duh) throw themselves over and over again into toxic relationships, and for what? For “true love” — and I’m sick of it. If any of these things are happening in your relationship, sorry to break it to you, but it’s not love:

  1. He goes out of his way to hurt you. Your partner knows what bugs you and what doesn’t. He knows what makes you feel insecure but that doesn’t give him any excuse to use those things against you. If you’re in a constant cycle of feeling hurt and neglected, that’s a sure sign that your relationship isn’t what you think. Someone who truly loves you would protect you from pain, not inflict it.
  2. You both wish you could change things about each other. We all have little things that annoy us in every relationship. However, someone’s core characteristics shouldn’t be one. Acceptance of one another is crucial in a healthy relationship. If he wants to change the main aspects that make you who you are, he isn’t The One. It’s not about what it could be, it’s about what it is now.
  3. He’s careless (because he doesn’t care). If he never calls, forgets your birthday, or stands you up for dates, it’s because he’s careless. He’s being reckless with your feelings and it’s not fair to either of you. If he truly cared, he would make it obvious. Believe him when he acts this way and move on.
  4. The bad times outweigh the good. When’s the last time you laughed so hard you couldn’t breathe? Or the last time you went out on a romantic date? If the bad times are starting to outweigh the good, you may need to rethink some things. Is all the heartbreak really worth it, or should you just cut your losses and move on? Only you can answer that question, but make sure you do so honestly.
  5. He’s not putting in the effort. Why give someone so much of your time if they aren’t willing to do the same? Your time is precious, and he should respect that. The fact that he refuses to put the same effort as you is hurtful, and you deserve better. You shouldn’t have to beg him to try — it should come naturally.
  6. He says ‘sorry’ more times than ‘I love you.’ “Sorry” only works so many times. If you find that he’s constantly apologizing for the things he did and still not making an effort to change, it’s not real. You should be showering each other with love, not apologies.
  7. You’re starting to think you aren’t enough. Let’s get this straight: you are enough. In fact, chances are you’re MORE than enough. Got it? Good. If someone ever makes you feel like you aren’t cool, smart, or pretty enough, then they don’t really love you. If they did, they’d show you how much you meant to them.
  8. You’re afraid he won’t stick around if things get hard. I’ve been there: afraid to get real with someone, especially when times are tough, because you don’t want to scare them off. No one who truly loves you would ever be scared off by emotions, no matter how ugly you think your crying face is. In fact, you should feel 100 percent secure in the knowledge that you have a partner by your side through thick and thin.
  9. His actions don’t match his words. My mom always told me that the best way to find out a guy’s true intentions are to believe his actions rather than his words. He could tell you all the amazing things he wants to do with you, but if he’s not willing to put those words into action, he’s not being authentic. Talk is cheap; actually doing something takes time, energy, and care. You deserve at least that.
  10. You aren’t his priority. Being in love shifts your priorities. You start thinking about building a life together, getting a place to live, starting a family. If you feel neglected and upset because he refuses to put you first, it’s time to move on.
Piper Ryan is a NYC-based writer and matchmaker who works to bring millennials who are sick of dating apps and the bar scene together in an organic and efficient way. To date, she's paired up more than 120 couples, many of whom have gone on to get married. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Cut, and many more.

In addition to runnnig her own business, Piper is passionate about charity work, advocating for vulnerable women and children in her local area and across the country. She is currently working on her first book, a non-fiction collection of stories focusing on female empowerment.